The Start of Something Good

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV

DQR character, Jason, enters the Colosseum.
A picture I drew around one of the most important scenes in DQR.

There are some days that really stick with us. Five years ago, on April 14th, I had one such day. It was a Monday and I was tired. The drive home from work had taken extra-long. I drug myself inside, went about getting ready for that evening—starting dinner, planning out my classwork for online grad school, and the like, and at some point noticing my phone had a voicemail.

I didn’t recognize the number I missed the call from and played the message. It was the contest coordinator for CrossBooks, the Lifeway Publishing imprint I’d submitted my novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, to. They had chosen it as their contest winner. I played the message twice just to be sure I wasn’t crazy. Then I started jumping up and down, because that marked the moment I stepped into the publishing world as an author.

Drawing of sculpture of DQR character, Senator Publicus
Senator Caius Valerens Publicus plays a major role in DQR and represents the sort of ancient Rome we always think about.

I’d like to say it was a fairytale, that everything thereafter has been fantastic and I’ve had Cinderella-style success. I haven’t. There have been times when I wondered if being an author, if writing at all, was a mistake. I’ve made bad decisions and had terrible misfortunes—like when CrossBooks was closed by Lifeway just after my book went into print. I’ve also been blessed to have some amazing surprises where it felt like the Lord just lined everything up for me. The path was easy and I could happily see where I was headed on the horizon.

The point of mentioning this all isn’t purely nostalgia or commemoration. Through it all the Lord has been good.

I have come to realize, things will never go as I imagine they should. Success as I expect it and the world defines it are unlikely. And that’s okay, because whatever the challenges and highs and lows in my writing journey, I have never escaped the gravity of purpose. The reason for which I write has never failed to keep me moving forward. Knowing why you write is invaluable to a writer and something I hear from others in the writing community over and over again. The dedication in my first book sums up my purpose in writing:

“This book is dedicated to the glory of God, Whose forgiveness brings light into the darkness of man’s destitution, and without Whom there would be no words worth writing.”

DQR characters Marcus and Marea
Another pivotal scene in DQR. This one with the protagonist Marcus.

So long as God keeps filling my heart and imagination with stories, I’ll keep telling them. Whether to one or one million, it is my privilege and pleasure to show people His goodness through the wonder of other worlds.

In a little less than two weeks my third book will be released. Three times now the Lord has blessed me to open a literary world to share with others, and I’ll never forget nor fail to be grateful for the day my author journey started.

As an aside, while I was writing this, the following songs played on the radio, and I felt like they really fit what I’ve felt and feel about everything. Also, please excuse the table. I have a strange compulsion to be organized about things like that…

Song

Band

 

Link

Only Jesus

Casting Crowns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXIBP2BdYR8

Count Them All

JJ Weeks Band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4harwjweIY

Even If

MercyMe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fA35Ved-Y

2 thoughts on “The Start of Something Good

Add yours

  1. Happy anniversary, Brett! It probably worked out better for you that you had that call recorded in a message so you can play it over and over. 🙂

    I’m thrilled for you that your book was accepted and that it has been the catalyst for several more. May God continue to grow you on this journey as an author sharing the glory of our God!

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